Services for older people
Bridgend County Borough Council
Ms X complained about a number of aspects of her Social Services complaint to the Council relating to her and her mother, Mrs Y. Despite a number of her complaints being upheld by the Stage 2 Investigation’s Independent Investigator, Ms X remained dissatisfied with the outcome of the investigation and the Council’s response to it.
Ms X complained about the length of time it took the Council to investigate and respond to her complaint which she said was not in line with its policy. In addition, Ms X complained that all her complaints in relation to her as Mrs Y’s carer were upheld but that this alongside an apology was insufficient. She also said she was unhappy with the way the complaints about Mrs Y were dealt with, in particular, that the Stage 2 investigation did not uphold her concern about the carers responsible for Mrs Y’s care, and her disappointment with the outcome of the complaint about the implementation of Mrs Y’s care plan. Ms X said the financial aspect of her complaint had not been investigated or acknowledged by the Council and she was unhappy about this. Ms X said the Stage 2 investigation did not adjudicate on a matter as it said it was NHS related; she said the issue was that the social worker had not passed on a matter to the NHS. Finally,
Ms X complained about the fact that the complaint about the befriending service was only partially upheld; she said that the service was not offered to Mrs Y or to her to arrange on her mother’s behalf.
The Council agreed to undertake the following action to resolve Ms X’s complaint within 20 working days of the Ombudsman’s decision:
• Provide Ms X with an update on the action taken as a result of her complaint.
Offer Ms X £250 financial redress for the time taken to deal with her complaint.
• Issue a reminder to Social Care Staff in line with the Independent Investigator’s recommendation that they should refrain from making promises on behalf of NHS staff.
• Demonstrate that it has reminded staff to ensure decisions following referrals to third sector services are shared, in line with the Independent Investigator’s recommendation in relation to the complaint about a befriending service not provided as agreed, or carry out this action to demonstrate learning from this complaint.
• Refer Ms X’s complaint about financial issues to its Corporate Complaints Team and asks it to investigate it under the Council’s Corporate Complaints Procedure.
The Ombudsman decided that it was appropriate to pursue an alternative resolution to the complaint instead of conducting an investigation by way of an early resolution of the complaint based on the action the Council had already taken and the action it had agreed to take. The Ombudsman determined that this was a proportionate and reasonable approach to resolve the complaint.